Iranian Media: Centralised Control and Tattered Accountability
In Karmasin, M, T. Eberwein, & S. Fengler (Eds.) 2021. Global Handbook for Media Accountability. London: Routledge
Posted: 10 Jun 2020 Last revised: 26 Jun 2020
Date Written: May 24, 2020
Iranian media are under strict state control. State authorities interfere in media content, persecute critical journalists, and curtail journalist associations. Internet censorship as well as satellite jamming and threats against Iranian journalists abroad further erode the freedom of information. Formal instruments of media accountability are thus sabotaged by the authoritarian state apparatus. Despite comprehensive information controls, however, there is room to critically interrogate the performance of domestic media and dominant media narratives. The fictionalisation of the political elite regularly plays out in the media, so that in particular the press reflects internal debates and rivalries. In addition, a vibrant transnational media landscape offers Iranians access to alternative information, both online and through professional satellite programs. Using social media content, these external communication channels have repeatedly been able to contest the political instrumentalisation and curtailment of media inside Iran.
Keywords: Media, Accountability, Censorship, Iran
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